Tag Archives: nanowrimo

Writerly Wednesday: The Ruby Blade updates

Last Saturday night, at approximately 11:30 pm, I sent my revised manuscript of The Ruby Blade to my editor. I managed to add almost 6,000 words in my rewrites last week and am pleased with how it turned out.

Even though it was late AF and I was tired, I still broke out my traditional bottle o’ bubbles to celebrate.

snapchat filter to make me look slightly less tired

Fortunately I had plenty of help along the way. In addition to my first readers, new intern Rupurrt Giles was exceptionally eager to take his place as my scribe.

Is that not the best bow-tie collar in the land?

In the meantime, I’m plugging away on book 4 (and I think I’ve settled on a title…reveal will be going out in my next newsletter!), drafting the outlines for my next series, and working on such an exciting editing project that omg, you guys! I can’t wait for you all to read it!

I feel like that’s keeping me busy enough for now, but just in case that wasn’t quite enough, I have some travel planned! I’m headed to Mexico next month for a 100% non-research trip, then Santa Fe in November for a 100% research trip (to finish off book #4!), and Ireland/Spain/Portugal next spring for an at least 50% research trip (that’ll be for Eleanor books 5/7).

I’m debating on whether or not to do NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve done it every year since 2013 and dedicated it to my dad each year (he was my first NaNo friend), but I’m not sure I can balance writing 1700 words/day with editing and working and momming and traveling and spending time with the beer guy. (hahahaha…of course I can do it! 2016 was the first year I did it while not employed full-time, and this job is much less emotionally and temporally taxing than my previous. talked myself into it. totes signing up.)

Motivational Blogging

Motivational in that I’m trying to motivate myself. I got the first round of edits back from my editor yesterday and although I don’t disagree with a damn thing she said – and in fact – told her when I sent the MS to her that I needed help with the problems she pointed out (this is a content edit, not a line edit or proofread), for some reason when she agreed  with me and offered said suggestions that I had explicitly asked for, it hurt my feels.

That doesn’t even begin to make sense, does it?


I guess my delusional secret self was really hoping she’d write back and say, “Holy Odin, Amy! This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever read. The only thing I’d change is to maybe make it…longer. MORE WORDS! YOU HAVE THE BEST WORDS! MAYBE MAKE THEM YUGER! BIGLY WORDS!” or something. I’m not even sure.

The problems that she explicitly pointed out have two main causes:

  1. This is the very first full-length novel that I will admit to having finished. It was a learning process and I wrote too many words. My first draft was 149K words. That’s two books. My final draft that I sent it was a good deal shorter, but not short enough but I’d gotten to the point where I couldn’t see anything to cut anymore and knew that the first 1/3 of the book could stand some major fat trimming.
  2. Going back to the whole “my first time” issue – I am a much tighter writer (hee – that rhymes! maybe I should become a poet instead) now. Much. I am more skilled at both crafting a story and telling it efficiently.

So, now I have a major rewrite coming. This is not a process I anticipate needing as much with all subsequent books in the series as they are already in much better shape.

This makes me feel a little bit like just quitting. Deleting all the files. Burning my hard drives. Erasing the cloud. Making it rain or something. I don’t really know how the cloud works.

I know that’s ridiculous and the fact that the editor opened with some really nice things to say about my plot, characters, and overall style probably should hold more weight than the ache I feel at not being perfect 100% of the time, especially on my first go, but emotions are not logical, no matter how much I wish they were.

So today is regrouping. Planning. Scheduling.

Tomorrow starts my month of getting shit done. If Hillary Clinton can campaign with pneumonia and become the first female president of the United States (just putting it out there), I can simultaneously write the 50,000 words I need to finish my current WIP (be my NaNoWriMo buddy!), edit this other book so that I can prep it for publication by the end of the year and finally show everyone the gorgeous cover, and find a damn job so that I don’t have to live in a box starting 12/1.

Right? RIGHT!?


Three Things Thursday – Writerly Edition

  1. OMG OMG OMG OMG! You guys! I have a cover for my book! A real cover! AND IT’S SO PRETTY! And I’m not going to share it. Yet. I’m still waiting for my first round of edits to come back, and once that happens, I’ll have a better idea of publishing timelines…but you know what’s the best part of this whole thing? THE COVER HAS MY NAME ON IT!



  1. I am trying to finalize my blurb today. It’s nearly there. This is much, much harder than writing a whole bunch of books, by the way. I have my official version that I’m going to send to the cover artist so she can mostly finalize the paperback wrap, and then the much better version that I workshopped with a friend last Friday.
I edited out the name of my correspondent to protect the guilty, but she's welcome to out herself if she wants!

I edited out my friend’s name to protect the guilty, but she’s welcome to out herself if she wants.


  1. NaNoWriMo…I have done this every year since my dad died (excepting the first year) because we were NaNo buddies and this is one of the ways in which I honor him. I’m planning on doing it again this year, but am unsure if I’m going to just get my 50K of my current WIP (technically against the rules, as you’re supposed to start something new, but RULES ARE FOR SUCKERS!) or start one of the other couple projects I have brewing in my head. I just wish my dad was around so I could share my cover art and my blurb and tell him to DEFINITELY NOT READ the sexy bits of my book. I miss him always, of course, but there are things that definitely hit harder – and seeing him in my NaNo “friends” page every year is one of those things…


Put a fork in me…

I’m not really done at all.

stick a fork in it

BUT BUT BUT! Yesterday, November 24, 2015, I hit my 50,000 words to WIN at 2015 NaNoWriMo.


Last year I won on November 23. I’m trying hard not to let it get to me that I was a day slower this year. This November was pretty busy. I took a professional certification exam on the 11th (and in 1-4 weeks, I should hear if I passed. Wankers.) and I traveled for work last week (and also my train killed a person, which totally ruined my word count for the the evening as well as ruining other people’s lives and my ability to ride anything with wheels or the equivalent comfortably – DON’T RACE THE TRAIN, MORONS! AND IF THE GATE IS DOWN, JUST WAIT.).

So, busy month!

Plus, you know, job. Job that I love with the intensity of a thousand black holes suns.

But I did it. I got 50,000 words into the newest book in twenty-four days. That’s writing a little under 2100 words a day while also parenting and working and commuting and being a good(ish?) partner and friend.

So, I’m totally a winner.

2015-11-24 15.15.35

I have a shirt that says so and everything.

The big question looms, though!



Next I finish this book, which is the first in a new series.

Next I send out my other book (the first in the previous series) to three more beta readers (PSM Cat was my first reader).

Next I start edits on either current book OR book 2 in the first series.

Next I outline book 2 in the new series.

Next I need to do revisions on book one in original series based on reader feedback.

Next I hire an editor/try to get an agent/self-pub/a little unclear on this one – still kind of hoping for a six figure advance on my new book deal.

Next I just keep writing and editing and writing and editing.

Also next? I need to figure out when I’m going to go for a run, because November  always kills my fitness, what will the obsessive writing and still having a job thing.

Next, I just keep writing.

neil gaiman writing

November 2014 – The Write Goals

I have one.

Write 50,000 words on the third novel in my series. Last November, I wrote the bulk of book #1. In the spring and summer, I finished book #2. And now it’s time for the third.

NaNoWriMo started today, and I banged out 1869 words this morning, so I’m well on my way to winning again. (I have to win – I already bought myself a winner’s shirt!)

(That is not me. I am much bustier.)

At some point, of course, I need to finish the first edit (and subsequent second draft) of the first book so I can send out to my brave volunteer first reader. Editing sucks, though. I much prefer the writing process.

Fortunately for me, I am free to not worry overmuch about editing for the next 29 days as I pound away on my book.

My local writing group (BATS!) is participating (all three of us) as is my PSM and first reader Cat.

I love November. I love getting up in the dark and writing with my cups of coffee every morning. I love being the only one in the house that’s awake – even the cats think I get up too early when I’m writing.

I love losing track of conversations in progress or having to rewind (or whatever you call it when it’s digital) my audiobook because my mind is caught up in my imaginary world.

I am not one who would say that I hate writing but love having written (as much as I love Dorothy Parker). I love the process and the ritual – because it is ritual for me.

Last year, I did it for my dad. This year it’s for me.

Happy November!